The Clitoris, the Penis, Political Correctness and Biological ‘Factness’

One of the most popular blog posts I have written. It was based on a section from my book Sex, Lies and Stereotypes. An updated, moderate’ version also appears in The Psychology of Gender. It’s an example of how something as supposedly factual as biology is reported and discussed from a male perspective.

Solution Focused Life Coaching with Dr Gary Wood (Birmingham, Edinburgh, Telephone, Skype)

In my previous post, The Myth-Busting Sexual Anatomy Quiz, one of the answers in particular prompted comments and questions. I stated that the clitoris is not a mini-penis as it is often described but rather, biologically speaking, the penis is an enlarged clitoris? But how can this be and does it really matter?

Book Cover: The Psychology of Gender by Dr Gary WoodFirst, describing the clitoris as a ‘mini-penis’ assumes the primacy of the penis. It assumes the penis comes first (pause for sniggering). There’s also the not-so-subtle suggestion that the clitoris is an underdeveloped penis and therefore an inferior organ. These assumptions are biologically incorrect.

Male development requires hormones to suppress female development and further hormones to enhance male development. This makes female anatomy the platform for male development and so technically the penis is an enlarged clitoris. Of course, this sounds provocative because it goes against the ‘received wisdom’ or ‘gender spin’ that gives primacy to…

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